Age-Friendly University Day

Each year we host an Age-Friendly University Day welcoming lifelong learners, older Minnesotans, retirees, and alumni to campus to join in conversation and camaraderie. 

2023 Age-Friendly University Day Agenda
2022 Age-Friendly University Day Agenda

Retirees, older Minnesotans, and lifelong learners – join us for the third annual Age-Friendly University Day on June 24th, 2024! The day promises to bring lively speakers, engaging conversations, and new connections.


  • A keynote presentation from Dr. Alyson VanAhn from Associated Clinics of Psychology, followed by a panel discussion featuring local experts on the topic of aging and social connections.
  • Breakout sessions titled; “Disrupt Aging”, “Nature RX: Forest Bathing & Nature Journaling”, “The Gift of Mindful Movement As We Age”.
  • Exhibit booths.
  • Breakfast and lunch.

Who: Retirees, older Minnesotans and lifelong learners.

When: Monday, June 24, 2024 from 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Where: McNamara Alumni Center, Minneapolis Campus

Cost: Join us in-person for $25, inclusive of a full day of learning and networking, along with breakfast and lunch. Opt for our $30 option to support someone who can’t afford the full registration, or choose our free option if you’re unable to pay.

Virtual attendance is free of charge. Register to receive the Zoom link below. Live streaming includes the keynote, panel, and one breakout session.

Register by June 16th!

8:00  Tai Ji Quan presented by Trellis

8:30  Registration & Continental Breakfast (Memorial Hall)

9:00  Welcome & Remarks Rajean Moone, Age-Friendly UMN Council

9:15  Keynote: “Finding Joy in Community: Inspiring Narratives on Overcoming Loneliness”

Dr. Alyson VanAhn, Associated Clinics of Psychology

9:35 Panel: Linda Camp, James Falvey, Sherrie Pugh

10:30 Break & Booths (Johnson Room)

11:00 Breakout Sessions
(We will be having three breakout sessions in the morning and three in the afternoon. The session options will be the same in the morning and afternoon, which means you will have the opportunity to attend two of the following sessions)

Session 1 – Disrupt Aging

Moderated by: AARP Minnesota

Presented by: Cathy McLeer and Jay Haapala

Session 2 – Nature RX: Forest Bathing & Nature Journaling

Moderated by: UMN Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing

Presented by: Kristen Mastel, MLS

Session 3 – The Gift of Mindful Movement as we Age

Presented by: Mariann Johnson

12:00 Lunch, booths, shopping at MN Alumni Market & chat time

1:00 Breakout Sessions (Repeat)

Session 1 – Disrupt Aging

Session 2 – Nature RX: Forest Bathing & Nature Journaling

Session 3 – The Gift of Mindful Movement as we Age

2:00 Age-Friendly University Day concludes. We hope to see you on campus and at the 2025 Age-Friendly University Day!


Monday, June 24, 2024 | 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Start your day early at 8 AM to practice Tai Ji Quan, provided by Treillis. Registration and continental breakfast begins at 8:30 AM. The program begins at 9:00 AM.


University of Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center. 200 Oak Street S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455 | 612-624-9831

Masking & COVID

Our event will follow all required protocols of the University of Minnesota.

Effective May 11, 2022 face masks are not required in any University space unless officially designated by the University as a “masks required” space. The McNamara Alumni Center is not a required space. The University expects all community members and visitors to respect those who choose to wear a mask, as well as those who choose not to wear one. The full policy is available online.


By registering for and attending Age-Friendly University, you grant the University of Minnesota School of Public Health (UMN SPH) and its authorized representatives permission to film, photograph or otherwise record your participation in the event.

Animals Present 

Boynton Health’s PAWS program will be joining for a portion of the day. Dogs will be present in the event space.


Please contact us at if you have any questions or concerns

University Avenue Parking Ramp

An adjacent 500-car ramp is connected by tunnel to the McNamara Alumni Center. Parking is $3.00 per hour with a daily maximum of $13.00. If the ramp is in event mode there will instead be a daily rate of $10.00, and no hourly rate. Once inside the parking ramp, take the East elevator to tunnel B or street level. The Alumni Center is the copper building adjacent to the ramp.

Directions to University Avenue Ramp, adjacent to Alumni Center

Ramp address: 1926 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

From the north, heading south on 35W

  1. Take Exit #18, 4th St-University Ave exit
  2. Cross 4th Street SE; turn left on University Ave
  3. Stay in the right lane, drive 9 blocks to the University Ave Parking Ramp — located on the right side of the street

From the south, heading north on 35W

  1. Take Exit #18, 4th St-University Ave exit
  2. Turn right on University Ave
  3. Stay in the right lane, drive 9 blocks to the University Ave Parking Ramp — located on the right side of the street

From the east or west on I-94

  1. Take Exit #235B, University of Minnesota/Huron Boulevard
  2. Follow Huron Boulevard one block and turn left onto Fulton St (1st stop light)
  3. Drive 3 blocks and turn right onto Oak St
  4. Follow Oak St past the Alumni Center (on the left) and cross over University Ave.
  5. Oak St will curve to the left and turn into 4th Street
  6. Turn left at the first available street (18th Ave, 17th Ave or 16th Ave)
  7. Drive 1 block and turn left onto University Ave
  8. Immediately get into the right lane and turn right into the University Ave Parking Ramp

Other ramps if needed:

  • Oak Street Ramp: 401 Oak St SE Minneapolis, MN 55455
  • Washington Ave Ramp: 501 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Metro Transit- Green Line: 

The Green line stops a short block from the McNamara Alumni Center at the East Bank Station. It is on Washington Avenue across from the Graduate Minneapolis hotel. For specific route and schedule information visit

Alyson VanAhn, PhD, LP – Age-Friendly University Day 2024 Keynote Speaker

I am a licensed psychologist currently working in long term and transitional care facilities. Historically, I have worked with children, adolescents, families, college students and adults from a variety of cultural backgrounds. My focus across these clients is individualized and purposeful. I work to reduce distress for those struggling with loss of independence, adjustment to life change and family conflict, significant depressive or anxious symptoms, addiction and substance abuse as well as post traumatic, bipolar, schizophrenia or major mental illness diagnoses. I can help by fostering hope and providing small ways to make big changes that last. I see it as my job to foster change no matter what the circumstance and also to motivate you and those around you to maximize the chances change can happen.

Kristen Mastel, MLS

I am an academic librarian, certified forest therapy guide, herbalist and health coach. After facing career and personal burnout, I found that taking the time to be out in nature whether a walk with my pup, Jiggsy, or out on the trails solo was (and still is) crucial to my mental and physical health and burnout recovery. I feel honored to be able to take part in & share the healing power of nature with you!

Presenting: Nature Rx: Forest Bathing & Nature Journaling

11 AM | Session II

Uncover the profound connection between nature and creativity with this workshop, where the meditative practice of forest bathing converges with the expressive outlet of nature journaling. Forest bathing, shinrin-yoku, is a Japanese art form and reflective practice that loosely translates to “taking in the forest through our senses.” Through nature connection experiences we can experience mental and physical aspects of wellbeing. Unleash your creativity through nature drawing, writing, and reflective journaling, intertwining your observations of nature with personal expression. No prior drawing or writing experience is necessary, just a curiosity about nature. This is an indoor experiential workshop; participants will be introduced to techniques they can use in their own yard, window, or park.


Mariann Johnson

Mariann Johnson is a wellbeing and mindfulness instructor for the University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing. She has studied and practiced mindfulness meditation for over 25 years and is a certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction instructor through Brown University’s Mindfulness Center. Before dedicating her professional life to teaching mindfulness, Mariann served as an organization development consultant and mediator, working with leaders of Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Her writings on mindful leadership have appeared in the Huffington Post and Mindful Magazine.

“The Gift of Mindful Movement as We Age”

11 AM | Session III

This experiential presentation will focus on the wellbeing gifts of mindful movement and regular exercise, even in small doses, as we age. Research on aging and mindfulness and the benefits of intentionally moving our bodies throughout the day will be shared and discussed. Participants will be invited to practice mindful walking and participate in a gentle qigong/mindful movement practice. A variety of practical tips will also be offered for integrating mindful movement into our daily lives.

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The University of Minnesota is proud member of the Age-Friendly University Global Network.

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